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Dad’s joy at Asian jail release

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A father-of-two has spoken of his joy at being reunited with his family back home in Sheffield after spending more than two months in jail in Bangladesh.

Mojid Khan was arrested by armed police on April 27 with two other British nationals and two Bangladeshi men in connection with a luxury five-star hotel they had invested in.

Mr Khan, from Staniforth Road in Darnall, had to share a sparse prison cell with up to 60 other men at a time, and at one stage was transported bound in shackles on a 16-hour journey from one jail to another.

He was denied release on bail several times as fresh allegations of offences such as car jacking, robbery and even people trafficking were filed against him.

The 47-year-old was finally released last week, with the charges against him dropped, after being able to provide evidence he had been on a flight at the time some of his alleged crimes had taken place.

He said he immediately phoned his wife Reba and his daughters Helen, 14, and Sarah, 10, in Sheffield to let them know he was free at last.

“They were so happy just to hear my voice again,” he said.

“I simply felt that I was in paradise. Walking out of the prison gate and into a taxi was pure relief more than anything.”

Mr Khan, chairman of the Sheffield Bangladesh Citizens’ Neighbourhood Welfare Project, was among 120 British Bangladeshis who invested in building the Dhaka Regency Hotel, which opened in 2007.

He put £25,000 in the hotel, which investors were told would cost £8.5 million to build.

But he said stakeholders became concerned about potential financial irregularities in the hotel’s accounts. He was in Bangladesh in mid-April as legal proceedings took place against the hotel directors.

But the group of five were arrested at the Dhaka Regency following allegations made by one of the hotel’s directors. Mr Khan and one of the other British men have now been released, but the other three remain in jail.

He said it was alleged the group had committed a spate of different crimes on the same day in different parts of Bangladesh - despite the locations being hundreds of miles apart.

“According to the police, the same group of people were roaming around Bangladesh committing crimes when we were supposed to be running a hotel. During that time, we were said to have abandoned the hotel and to have gone around the country mugging people, robbing, people trafficking and stealing.”

Mr Khan told The Star that his focus was now on fighting for the release of the three men who remain in prison in Bangladesh.

 

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